221 S. Main Street,
221 S. Main Street,Kendallville, IN 46755
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A major remodeling of the Strand Theatre was carried out in 1951, according to Kendallville Heritage Association’s Historic Places tour (PDF file here.) The remodeling was designed by the A.M. Strauss architectural firm of Fort Wayne (Alvin M. Strauss, a Kendallville native.)
As the “Spence (probably a typo) Opera House”, this theater is listed under Kendallville in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. A.M. Boyer was the Mgr., the seating was 800, and the house had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 30 feet wide X 40 feet high, and the stage was 38 feet deep. There were 5 members of the house orchestra. Local newspapers were the Sun, News and Standard. Hotels for show folk were the Reyher and the Kelly House. The 1897 population of Kendallville was 4,000.
Here is an article about the Strand and some bygone theaters in Kendallville:
Here is an interesting biography of the longtime theater manager:
The Strand Theater of Kendalville, Indiana is owned and is being renovated by Bruce Babbit. He is also the owner and renovator of a great 1920’s theater house in Garrett, Indiana, and the Drive-in theater in Garrett, Indiana. You should really do an article on him and his restoration projects.